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article imageMicrosoft and Nokia Lumia phones violate patents, rules judge

By James Walker     Apr 28, 2015 in Technology
An ITC judge has ruled that Lumia-branded Windows Phone smartphones built by Nokia and Microsoft violate patents held by licensing firm InterDigital. Microsoft plans to appeal but failure could lead to an import ban on Lumia phones in the US.
Reuters report how InterDigital won a round over Microsoft on Monday in a legal battle that has been going on since 2007. Originally filed against Nokia, patent licensor InterDigital claim that technologies used in Lumia phones violate its patents regarding how phones connect to 3G mobile networks and reduce signal interference to save power.
In the original case, the ITC cleared Nokia. It returned to the ITC in 2012 though after the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the ruling and came before Judge Theodore Essex yesterday.
With Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's Devices division completed last year, the case is now filed against the Redmond-based company. It has called the decision yesterday a "step in the process" and reminded how it has a record of successfully challenging patent licensing companies.
Meanwhile, InterDigital has said that it is open and looking forward to "continued discussion" with Microsoft. It wants to properly license its patents to the company.
If Microsoft does not manage to successfully appeal against the ITC's latest ruling, it could face a ban on the import of its handsets into the US. With the majority of Lumia phones being built outside of the US, such a ban could dramatically hinder Microsoft's efforts to grow the Windows Phone platform.
BetaNews notes that Microsoft would either have to update the phones so that their software no longer violates the InterDigital patents or would have to move their manufacturing abilities to a new plant. Neither option seems particularly appealing.
Microsoft is free to continue to import devices until the review is completed. The ITC should come to a conclusion before the end of August.
More about Microsoft, lumia, Nokia, Windows phone, Patent
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